It is really almost tragic that over the past week the drawn out and unnecessary details of the DeflateGate scandal overshadowed the preview of what a fantastic Super Bowl matchup. On one side you had the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, who were looking to capture their second straight Lombardi Trophy and continue their building of a dynasty. And on the other side you had the New England Patriots who, while over ten years removed from their last championship, had a dynasty of their own.
The opposing head coaches and quarterbacks could not be any more unalike. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, infamous for rearely cracking a smile, is always reserved, even almost rude towards the media. In contrast, Pete Carroll, head coach for the Seattle Seahawks, is always very amiable and jolly and filled with energy on the sidelines.
Tom Brady, the 37 year-old veteran quarterback of the New England Patriots, played in his sixth career Super Bowl on Sunday, the most of any quarterback in NFL history. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, while only 26 years old, played in his second straight championship game
The game itself was nothing short of magnificent. The Patriots, hoping to avoid Seattles “Legion of Boom”, had success by constantly using short and quick passes to pick up first downs, as opposed to throwing deep balls downfield. Tom Brady was his typical self, completing 37 of his 50 attempted passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns and two interceptions. Patriots receiver Julian Edelman also turned in a great day with nine receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Russell Wilson hid himself quite the Super Bowl as well, turning in 247 yards and two touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch, a.k.a. Beast Mode, ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown.
The true result of the game came down to the events that occurred on the final Seahawks drive that defined one of the greatest Super Bowls in recent memory. Seattle, down 28-24 with around two minutes left, had a chance to drive down and take the lead. In one of the top two catches in Super Bowl history (David Tyree for the Giants), Jermaine Kearse came down with a bobbling catch that bounced off of his own leg to pin the Seahawks inside the ten yard line. Although the amazing snag ultimately would not matter, with Russell Wilson throwing a backbreaking interception a couple of plays later. Seattle had the ball, 2nd and goal, on the one yard line, and instead of giving the ball to the best player on the field in Marshawn Lynch, the offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell elected to call a slant pass to Ricardo Lockette. Patriot rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route and sealed the game for New England. The play call will go down as one of the worst in NFL history.
Despite all of this, what remains the most amazing detail of Super Bowl XLIX is the fact that Tom Brady was able to lead his team back from a ten point deficit and win his fourth Super Bowl. The phrase “time is undefeated” is thrown around quite often when referring to aging athletes, and specifically quarterbacks. It is just brutally difficult for a quarterback to have sustained success when getting up there in age. Our old friend Peyton Manning is a prime example of this.
But 37 year-old Tom Brady has fought off whatever consequences and obstacles come with playing into the upper thirties. No other quarterback in history has thrown for as many yards or touchdowns, or won more than Lombardi Trophies than Brady, and this is what makes him the greatest quarterback of all time.
There was absolutely no better choice to win the Super Bowl Championship this year than the New England Patriots, who are commonly viewed as the villains of the league due to their cheating allegations. In possibly the NFL’s worst year in existence, where Roger Goodell showed his true incompetence, the Pats were the perfect champion.